Posts Tagged ‘lbca’

Australian trucking grabs a seat on carbon tax committee

Saturday, April 9th, 2011

Pic: ATA will hammer the message that Australia’s trucking industry is under strain and cannot afford to pay higher taxes

By Brad Gardner

The peak trucking lobby has scored a seat on the Federal Government’s carbon tax committee, and industry is already pushing for it to demand reductions to the diesel excise.

Australian Trucking Association CEO Stuart St Clair has joined groups such as the Australian Automobile Association and the Minerals Council to discuss the Government’s proposed carbon price ahead of its July 2012 introduction.

The NSW Livestock and Bulk Carriers Association (LBCA) wants the ATA to campaign for any increases due to a carbon tax to be offset by reductions in the diesel excise.

The proposal is similar to the cent-for-cent cut in the excise that would have been introduced under former Prime Minister Kevin Rudd’s Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme (CPRS). Under Rudd’s model the diesel excise, for one year, would have been cut by one cent for every one cent rise in the price of fuel due to the CPRS.

While it has outlined some policies it will be pursuing, the ATA is yet to determine whether it will push for diesel offsets. “We’ll be strongly representing the industry, but there is not enough detail around the government’s proposal as yet for us to reach a position,” ATA Government Relations Manager Bill McKinley says. However, he says the ATA will hammer the message that the industry is under strain and cannot afford to pay higher taxes.

“Because of the economic climate, many trucking businesses are already finding it impossible to pass on increases in the price of fuel or increases in their costs,” McKinley says. “We’ll also be pointing out that trucking businesses are already taxed heavily through the road user and registration charges.”

The ATA is planning to use the committee to pursue an expansion of higher productivity vehicles and for emissions standards currently applied to trucks to include all diesel engines. “There are already emission standards in place for the trucking industry. They are very, very stringent indeed, particularly the latest set, and that should be mandated across the board,” McKinley says.

The carbon tax committee has already held its first meeting, and McKinley says it will meet on a monthly basis. The news comes as the ATA commissions a research study into the trucking industry’s environmental credentials. It says the study will look at the industry’s environmental performance and examine possible future developments such as alternative fuels, higher productivity vehicles, carbon pricing and emerging technologies.

“The study is particularly important given the debate about the Government’s proposed carbon price,” St Clair says. Under the Federal Government’s scheme, companies will need to pay a fixed price for permits to pollute. The Government’s climate change advisor, Professor Ross Garnaut, wants a starting price of between $20 and $30 per tonne of carbon dioxide, with the price rising by 4 percent annually.

In an update to his 2008 climate change review, Garnaut recommends transitioning from a fixed carbon price to an emissions trading scheme in 2015. He wants an independent regulator to oversee the scheme. During its recent council meeting, the ATA was told diesel prices would increase by 6.75 cents per litre under a carbon price of $25 a tonne. Garnaut says fuel prices will increase by between five and seven cents a litre if a carbon price of $20 to $30 is introduced.

Garnaut says a fixed carbon price can help to provide certainty to businesses and allow them to become familiar with carbon permits. In his updated paper, Garnaut says it is essential the Government gets the price right. “If Australia’s carbon price is set too high – out of step with international action – there could be an unnecessary costly transition,” he says.

“On the other hand, too low a price could impose transactions costs for no real gain. It would not raise the chances of reaching the goals of Australia and the international community.”

Source: ATN (